Our game cam is revealing just what busy bees our coyotes are. Here is a gang of four captured in one shot at The Hangout. This crew triggered eighteen camera shots over a span of about a half hour.

FourCoyotes

Just generally fiddling around in this spot, coming, going, having a seat, and possibly tinkering with figuring out what makes that camera flash and click.  The infrared flash isn’t bright, it’s pretty subtle; but still noticeable to a clever dog, I’m sure. There are a lot of shots of them looking right at the camera.

CoyoteSitting

I don’t believe that coyotes in our region pack-up a lot. Most of the food sources here are rodents and other small critters, so it makes more sense for them to disperse and hunt solo. I’m guessing this is a litter of spring pups, still hanging out together some, possibly with their dam. There are plenty of camera shots of a single dog coming or going as well; so they aren’t always in a party-of-four like this.

Here’s a rare daytime shot.

DaytimeCoyote

Right now, I have some lambs grazing in portable fencing right by The Hangout. I put Moses the LGD in with them at night for insurance. In the morning, I take Moses out, because he’s rude to the lambs and often won’t let them drink from the water tank.  So, we have on our farm a shift change operation much like this one :

image

Yesterday morning I did chores super early, while it was dark and foggy. I am usually meticulous about shining my light along the whole fenceline, to make sure it’s still standing, and no lambs are caught. For whatever reason, I made an unconscious decision not to bother walking far enough into the fog to really check every inch of the fence. Everything looked peaceful, the lambs were mostly still bedded down. Moses was waking up and casually stretching.

At the moment I was going to turn and leave for the day, I noticed a pair of eyeballs at The Hangout, reflecting my headlamp light. Too narrowly-set and too far from the flock to be an escaped lamb’s. Too big to be a kitty cat, raccoon or opossum. And brazen: they didn’t flinch, even when I growled get outta here you… They just stayed, fixed, wide, and staring.

Somehow this made me think, what are you lookin’ at, anyway? That’s when I saw what. A lamb, completely entangled and entombed in the Electronet, way in the corner, closest to The Hangout. I  wonder if that coyote was just sitting there, confounded, knowing that a helpless lamb was laying there, just begging to be eaten. But, also knowing that there was a sleeping Kuvasz in the pen, too, who would explode into a round of startled barking and confrontation if awoken? I can just imagine him thinking Dammit! How can I work this out somehow? And thus he sat, with patient and unwavering attention, with a bit of a refusal to budge from this near-golden opportunity.

The lamb had been down for awhile, covered in stress diarrhea, and her rumen was gurgling. But I got her out, and up, and she was ok. She would have been dead in a few more hours, immobilized on her side like that. I took Moses up to The Hangout, and partly down the coyote trail, just to push them back a little bit. Mr. Eyeballs complied. I re-set the tangled fence, and opted to leave Moses in there for the day.

And that is how a coyote saved the life of a lamb on the farm this week!

Coyote

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